April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

This year people seem more aware of the environmental crisis that faces our planet. President Obama’s campaigns dealt with the issue of global warming in every debate. Many experts are analyzing the crisis in the auto industry point to a lack of fuel efficiency innovation as a major cause of Detroit’s problems, and more companies are touting their “green” products.

With all the daily attention being paid to the environment, people this year may be asking themselves what the big deal is about Earth Day. The answer, quite simply, is that without the advent of Earth Day, environmental issues would likely still be in the background. So, as Earth Day approaches, here are a few reasons to appreciate its history and meaning once more.

Although the idea for Earth Day came about in the early 1960s, the first official Earth Day wasn’t held until 1970.

The purpose was to draw attention to environmental issues that we tossed to the side (air and water pollution, the dumping of toxic chemicals and the destruction of natural habitat) and received little to no federal attention at the time.

Earth Day was based on the fundamentals of grass roots organizing, and events took place around the country.

Such local efforts are still at the heart of every Earth Day celebration.

At the heart of Earth Day is the idea that the more people know about our national environmental policies, the more likely they will be to play a role in shaping them. Earth Day has always sought to inform and educate. Of course, knowledge isn’t worth much if it can’t be put to use, and Earth Day celebrations provide every individual an opportunity to get involved. From local beach cleanups and rallies for clean energy, to petitioning representatives to pass environmental legislation, April 22 is the focal point for environmental causes we might otherwise take for granted.

In 1970, the same year of the first Earth Day celebration, President Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA’s work in studying and regulating pollution springs from the same spirit of stewardship as Earth Day.

With billions of participants worldwide, Earth Day is the world’s single largest secular civic event. Who wouldn’t want to attend that celebration?
Many cities base their educational and community outreach efforts around a weekend of festivities, live music, good food and time spent outdoors.

How are you planning on celebrating? Making some simple changes to celebrate Earth Day can help set the stage for more earth-friendly commitments in the future. Visit Earth911.com and check out the Earth Day 2009 Channel for ideas on how to get started, insights into recylcing and what others pledge to do.

Source: Earth911.com

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